A Cameroonian is on trial for allegedly murdering six other occupants of a migrant boat because of their Christian beliefs, reports The Telegraph.

According to witnesses who survived the crossing from Morocco to Spain in 2014, the captain of the inflatable craft blamed Christian passengers for the onset of a storm before throwing them overboard to a certain death.

The accused, identified as Alain N.B., believed that the weather worsened every time the victims prayed, other survivors said. Their testimony revealed that a Nigerian priest was beaten with planks of wood ripped from the boat; he was thrown overboard after being badly wounded. The captain, with a Cameroonian accomplice who has since died, then searched other passengers for concealed Christian symbols. At least five other migrants were attacked after the search.

The boat was rescued off the coast of Spain in December 2014. At least 21 people died during the crossing, including seven babies. The trial is expected to last several days.